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The information below has been compiled from past threads and updates provided by TV members. If you have anything to add to it, please PM one of the Moderators.
This information is for the benefit of persons who are HIV positive and living in Thailand. If you are concerned that you might have contacted HIV but do not know, an inexpensive HIV test can be performed at any hospital (government or private) as well as at any government Health Center. It can also be done at the Red Cross Clinic.
1. Doctors specializing in HIV:
There are a large number of HIV specialists in Thailand, including many who have trained in the West. As with other specialties, they are disproportionately found in Bangkok with much slimmer pickings elsewhere. As HIV is a chronic problem requiring life long management, it is important to find a doctor with whom you are comfortable and who is a good "fit" to your temperament and stage of illness. Priorities tend to change with time; someone newly diagnosed as HIV positive may need considerably more hand-holding and emotional support and prefer a doctor who is nurturing and highly directive in approach, whereas people who have been living with HIV for some time often prefer a more matter-of-fact and collegial decision-making approach. Given the wide range of choice, at least in Bangkok, do not hesitate to change doctors if the first one you try doesn't feel right. Doctors also vary greatly in their consultation fees, even within the same hospital and among doctors of more or less equivalent qualifications.
The HIV specialists listed below have all been recommended by at least one TV member. They are not listed in any particular order, and the list is by no means exhaustive; there are many other well qualified HIV specialists whom we just do not happen to have any feedback on.
Dr. Asda Vibhagool - US trained and US Board certified. The only doc on this list I have personally met, I found him very knowldgable, collegial in approach, frank and direct. "I would reccommend Dr Asada above all others! He cares for a dear friend of mine and we are all most happy with his service/knowledge! " (jdinasia) "I decided to change Doctors to Dr. Asda and the change is amazing," (private PM)
Dr Mondej Sookpranee." He has been treating me for the past 2 years, and I find him truly excellent" (Slimdog)
Dr. Anuwat. " He seemed nice and competent. He was aware of the anon clinic and wrote down what tests he wanted done" .
Dr Paitoon Boonma " I've seen him for 8 years now. He is very knowledgeable and kind." (Orchis)
Dr Phillipe Seur " he is an excellent HIV resource for Pattaya Patients. He does excellent work providing ARV treatments to Local Thais and a few Farangs through his NGO http://www.heartt2000.org/ his email address is firstname.lastname@example.org" (private PM)
Dr. Phanumet at Sripet (Suan Doc) Chiang Mai University Hosp
Most of the HIV meds used in the West are available in Thailand and in some cases, they are available in an inexpensive local generic form. Local generics include AZT and 3 TC separately as well as an AZT/3TC combo (equivalent to Combivir or Combid), named Zilarvir..
ARVs are prescription only in Thailand. If cost is a constraint for you (1) frankly tell your doctor this, so that he can work that into the equation when deciding on a regimen and also be sure to provide generics where applicable; (2) for lowest price, ARV, have the doctor write the prescription and fill it at the Red Cross Anonymous Clinic (Bangkok) or at the Love Foundation clinic in CM.
Thai Red Cross · Anonymous Clinic
104 Ratchadamri Road
Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330.
It is located between the Sala Daeng and Radchadamri Road
The following are costs recently reported by TV members for a one month supply of Lamivudine @ 300 mg/day, (nevirapine) @ 400 mg/day and Viread @ 300 mg/day:
Bangkok Hospital = 6,060 B, Bumrungrad 5,190 B, and the Thai Red Cross clinic 2,580 Baht. I do not have a quote for costs at any of the non-profit private hospitals (e.g. St Luis, Bkk Christian, Camellian etc) but would expect them to be fall somewhere between these extremes.
The Thai Red Cross Clinic has doctors able to prescribe but they are available only some days of the week and limited in the number of clients they can accept, often with a waiting list. However the clinic will fill prescriptions, and perform blood tests (inc. CD4, VL) on written request from any doctor, no special form required, just the prescription/tests requested, your name, and doctor's name and signature. Private hospitals naturally prefer that patients purchase meds at their pharmacy and have labs done in their lab. Doctors vary in how they respond to this preference on the part of hospital administrators. Some treat it as an ironclad rule, some utterly disregard it if not in the patient's best interests, and some fall into the middle. This variation will be found among doctors at the same hospital. If you need to buy your meds at the Anon Clinic due to financial constraints and the doctor you see balks at writing a prescription, change doctors until you find one who is prepared to work with you. Legally and ethically, hospitals do not have the right to require you to use their pharmacy or their lab.
Chiang Mai: This non-profit clinic is reported to offer services similiar to that of the TRC Clinic in Bangkok, including testing, low cost ART, PrEP etc.
114/38 Greenpuls 1 Businesspark Nungpakhung Muang Chiangmai. ( at business park. Next to Index Living Mall on the hightway. [18.796643, 99.023139] on google map.)
Email : email@example.com
Website : www.lovefoundation.or.th
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/Lovefoundationth/
Persons covered by Thai Social Security system may do best going to a government hospital. Any government hospital at provincial level up to tertiary can handle this and will often have a dedicated HIV clinic, but as with any other service at a govt hospital, long waits and limited English speaking by other than the doctors will be the norm.
The full gamut of lab tests, including viral loads, are available in Thailand although not in all hospitals. Costs vary across facilities in a manner similar to that described for meds.
A CD4 count = 300b at the Anonymous Clinic, around 1000 – 2000 at a private hospital. Viral Load = 1,500b at the Anonymous Clinic, about 6-7,000 at a private hospital.
in the Pattaya area, the Bangsaen clinic (tel 081-863-2934) is reported to be of acceptable quality and quite affordable. offers Viral load as well as CD4 and all standard blood tests. It is situated about 600 yards along Thanon Long Had (road 3137) on the right hand side coming from Road 3.